When operating your vessel at night there are a few essential tips you must know. Be sure to read these tips and your local areas laws and regulations to ensure safe nigh time boating.
Firstly, make sure you always exhibit the correct lights from your boat. For most size boats and in most areas these are a red light on your port or left side, a green light on your starboard or right side and a clear or white light on the stern or rear of the boat. Make sure these lights are all working before you leave and also ensure they are unobstructed.
You also need to make sure these lights are showing during the period of sunset to sunrise. You need to show these lights whilst either underway or at anchor. It is also a good idea to display these lights during daytime periods of limited visibility such as during fog or rain conditions.
It is also essential that you try to maintain your night vision. After a few minutes in the dark your eyes will slowly adjust and your vision will improve in the dark. Try to minimize any lighting on your own vessel to prevent disturbing this vision. You should also show restraint in the use of spotlights so you respect the night vision of others.
Finally, it is important to proceed with caution during night time boating. Many pylons, buoys and markers are unlit so you need to always proceed at a slow and safe speed.
So with these tips and your local laws and regulations in mind, get out there and give night time boating a go.